Docking’s Kansas Speaks finds belief in Kansas as good place to live, plurality for Kelly for governor

HAYS, Kan. – The 12th edition of Kansas Speaks, the annual poll addressing issues of importance to Kansans, is out and once again finds that a majority of Kansans think the state is a “very good” or “excellent” place to live.

The 2018 survey, conducted by Fort Hays State University’s Docking Institute of Public Affairs, interviewed 494 Kansans by phone (land-line and cell). The survey has a 4.4-percent margin of error. The poll asked questions in four areas: quality of life in Kansas, taxes and the economy, government and politicians, and public policy issues.

On the direct question of quality of life in Kansas, 55 percent of respondents rated Kansas as “very good” or “excellent”; 4 percent said “poor” or “very poor.”

One area of particular interest this year is the governor’s race. Respondents were asked, “Who do you plan on voting for governor in 2018?” Responses were consistent with national polls. More than a third of respondents reported that they would vote for Laura Kelly (40 percent) or for Kris Kobach (36 percent). Ten percent reported that they would vote for independent Greg Orman.

Asked for positive or negative ratings on Kobach and Kelly, 55 percent rated Kelly positively and 37 percent rated Kobach positively.

Fifteen percent of respondents said the state economy was “very good” or “excellent” while 11 percent said it was “poor” or “very poor.” On the economy’s performance in the last year, 38 percent said it had improved, 45 percent said it stayed the same, and 17 percent said it worsened.

Positive feelings outweighed negative on the right track-wrong track question, with 58 percent saying Kansas is on the “right track” and 42 percent saying “wrong track.”

The full report can be found here:

A sampling of other questions of interest to Kansans:

  • 52 percent of respondents “strongly support” or “somewhat support” legalizing recreational marijuana for individuals 21 and older to allow taxation by the state, with 39 percent “somewhat” or “strongly” opposed.
  • 30 percent were satisfied with the state’s actions in 2017 to increase state revenue through income tax increases, while 41 percent were unsatisfied. People with higher education showed higher levels of satisfaction.
  • Respondents were asked to rate President Donald Trump on seven different areas. He received a high rating on the economy and national security but a low rating on “sharing my values,” “trustworthiness,” and “international diplomacy.”
  • 51 percent were at least “somewhat uncomfortable” with the reported relationships between President Trump and the Russian government or Vladimir Putin. Republicans and men were more likely to feel comfortable.
  • 45 percent supported Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for the Supreme Court, 33 percent opposed, and 22 percent were neutral. The support level was higher among Republicans and men.
  • 28 percent supported repealing the Affordable Care Act even if it is not replaced, 35 percent supported the repeal only if replaced, and another 37 percent opposed repealing. Democrats and women were more likely to oppose repeal.
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